An “instrument” can mean many things in the world of university research, scholarship and creative activity. In the physical and life sciences it might refer to microscopes, mass spectrometers or muffle furnaces. In the arts, it might include pianos, piccolos or PAR cans.
As UI’s vice president for research and economic development, I’m aware of the many “instruments” required for our faculty, staff and students to be able to conduct leading-edge research and scholarship efforts. Earlier this month, the Office of Research and Economic Development announced 10 grants totaling $172,222 through the Equipment and Infrastructure Support (EIS) awards. The awards were spread across six colleges and a diverse array of departments, from natural resources to chemistry to music.
The EIS award program supports equipment purchases, upgrades and repairs to enhance our broad research infrastructure. The EIS award program is just one of many strategic investments in the university’s future — an opportunity to maintain and develop our capabilities in many fields, and thus help our research enterprise to reach our strategic goals.
The EIS awards also are a partnership. Departments and colleges provided a minimum 1:1 cost share for each award, demonstrating their willingness to collaboratively invest in the success of our faculty — and above and beyond that, to raise the tide for the university as a whole. With this partnership, the cost share and ORED awards was able to support more than $450,000 for this program.
Strategic investments in research allow UI to be more competitive for funding, to open opportunities for our existing faculty and draw new talent, and to strive for results that benefit people, economies and environments outside the university. In the last few months alone, ORED has supported the EIS awards, the CLASS-ORED Transformative Research Investment and Partnership, our annual Seed Grants, and the Faculty and Staff Fellows Program. I am looking forward to introducing additional programs in the coming year.
Selecting only 10 EIS awards to fund this round was difficult. We received 32 very competitive submissions to the program, requesting a total of $600,017 from ORED. I wish I had a money-printing machine to meet every research need on campus, but even without such an “instrument,” ORED is dedicated to developing a suite of partnerships and investments that will help our scholars, researchers and artists shape the future.
I look forward to working all to continue to invest in and support our innovative research enterprise.
Janet E. Nelson
Research and Economic Development
Flexibility in Economics
CALS student studies community economic resilience
University of Idaho student Lauryn Ringwood combines a passion for applied economics and an interest in community resilience into a master’s degree in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.